Eggs and Homecomings

Jeremy Paxman with PX1

Jeremy Paxman with PX1 during the filming of The River 2016 (photo courtesy of Tern TV)

A time to celebrate

There is plenty to celebrate in Tweed Valley this week – we have fantastic news! Mrs O has laid two eggs, and also PX1 has flown into the UK and travelled to the far north, currently residing in Findhorn.

Paxman Osprey PX1 returns

Tony and Jeremy

Tony Lightley and Jeremy Paxman measuring the wing length of PX1 during the ringing. (Photo courtesy of tern TV)

The migration of PX1, (Jeremy Paxman’s osprey) suddenly resumed on 3 May. He had been taking time out from the journey in the Dordogne in France, and his data stopped updating after 26 April. It suddenly began to transmit again on 3 May, and we could see that he had left the area and headed into Normandy, where he spent a couple of nights. He teetered on the edge of the coast for a while, before making the crossing of the English Channel.

PX1 arrived in Dorset on 5 May at Tyneham, and flew over the Brandy Bay cliffs at 11.45am. He then proceeded northwards to the Bristol Channel and to Newport at 4pm, going on to cross Wales, flying on into Shropshire and finally Herefordshire, where he spent a night in the plantation forestry behind the village of Combe.

The next morning he left the area and flew westwards over Welsh countryside to Anglesey, where he changed course from Benllech, heading out into the Irish Sea. After an epic three hour sea crossing, he arrived at Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria at 3.40pm. He spent time in the estuary and presumably caught fish to keep him going, then from Ulverston he made an overnight stop in Roudseawood Nature Reserve. On 7 May he left the area at 7am, headed to Keswick and then Carlisle.

Now in Scotland

PX1 was on course for his northward mission. Flying high, he entered his original homeland of Scotland in brilliant sunshine and high temperatures which must have been a pleasant homecoming. He flew over Hawick and Galashiels at a high altitude of over 900m, so there wasn’t much chance of anyone spotting him.

He headed for Aberlady Bay and crossed the Firth of Forth, dropping to 187m over the sea and down to 119m over East Wemyss. He never broke his journey, continuing on to Perth and then east of Pitlochry where he spent the night not far from Knockando. He was on the move at 5am on 8 May for a lochside fish breakfast, before flying up the Spey Valley and into Findhorn Bay by 8am. It is great to see that this bird has returned safe and well back to Scotland.

Mrs O – a mum to be

The other great news from Tweed Valley this week is that Mrs O has made her choice and settled down in the main nest with partner SS, and has now laid two eggs. The first one was laid on Thursday 3 May and the second on Monday 7 May.

She is a changed personality – motherhood-to-be obviously suits her because she is quiet! No more squawking from Mrs O – instead, she has been incubating the eggs. Mrs O and SS make a handsome pair, periodically looking down into the nest to observe their prize eggs.

Please note: Repairs to the Tweed Valley Osprey Project’s live web feed are currently being carried out – we will have more news for you next week. Thanks for your patience.

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